The Time That Remains

Elia Suleiman

France, Palestine, 2009 / 105 min / Arabic, Hebrew OV with French & Dutch subtitles / Dramedy


At the time of the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, during the final hours before the surrender of Nazareth, Fuad - a member of the Palestinian resistance is separated from Thurayya, the love of his life. She flees the conflict, traveling to Jordan with her family, but Fuad is captured before being able to escape. Years pass. Nazareth is under martial law. Fuad, like the rest of the city's population, is under surveillance by the secret services. Arrested and accused of smuggling arms, he encounters Thurayya again at the police station. She has been granted permission to return to visit her sick father. She and Fuad exchange small talk and wish each other well. ES, Fuad's son, reaches adolescence. Nazareth is undergoing a period of extreme political upheaval: the desire to regain and reassert a national identity - is growing. Thurayya's brother appears at Fuad's house during a riot. His sister is dying of cancer and has asked to see Fuad one last time. In Jordan, the couple finds themselves alone. They exchange small talk and wish each other well. Thurayya dies shortly after; ES’s aged mother is tended by a Filipino nurse. A cop is madly in love with the nurse, who has made him her domestic slave. Rather than arresting ES, the cop is the first to welcome him. Everything is an absurdity, and ES struggles to make sense of it all, but in vain. This is why he tries to translate this reality into film. But perhaps he is also searching for another reality, another identity? Is it ES who carries Palestine with him wherever he goes, or is it Palestine that is spreading throughout the rest of the world?

Mon 07/03 13:30 Cinémathèque OV Arabic with FR & NL subt. Public
  • Official Selection, Competition, Cannes Film Festival, 2009
Cast & Credits
Saleh Bakri, Yasmine Haj, Leila Muammar
Elia Suleiman
Marc-André Batigne
Véronique Lange
The Film

Elia Suleiman lived in New York City for a decade before moving back to Palestine to teach film and media at Birzeit University. His first film, Chronicle of a Disappearance, won the Best First Film Prize at the 1996 Venice Film Festival. In 2002, Divine Intervention won the Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI Prize of the Cannes Film Festival as well as the prize for best foreign film at the European Awards in Rome. His last feature film titled It Must Be Heaven won the Jury Special Mention in Cannes in 2019, and the FIPRESCI Prize of the Cannes Film Festival.

  • 2019 - It Must Be Haven
  • 2012 - 7 Days in Havana (co-directed)
  • 2009 - The Time That Remains
  • 2002 - Divine Intervention
  • 2000 - Cyber Palestine – short
  • 1998 -The Arab Dream – short
  • 1996 - Chronicle of a Disappearance – short
  • 1992 - Homage by Assassination, episode of: Harb el kalij... wa baad/The Gulf War... and After) – short
  • 1990 - Introduction to the End of an Argument – short